Wild game: Lemon-Glazed Vanilla Honey Duck starts a theme in “Braising the Wild”

Jack Hennessy starts a theme for several weeks in “Braising the Wild” with Lemon-Glazed Vanilla Honey Duck.

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Lemon-Glazed Vanilla Honey Duck in “Braising the Wild.” Credit: Jack Hennessy

Lemon-Glazed Vanilla Honey Duck in “Braising the Wild”

Jack Hennessy

I really like the concept Jack Hennessy will be working with in “Braising the Wild” for the next few weeks: using readily available ingredients to use with wild game or fish in the freezer during this time where most of our readers are under some form of stay-at-home edicts or orders.

Here is the recipe:


As the saying goes: When life gives you lemons, use one to make a glaze for those duck breasts sitting in your freezer. While most of us are sheltering in place, let us remember the positives—that being at home means more time to improve in the kitchen.

My goal, for these next several recipes, is to only use ingredients readily available to most people. You’re going to see slightly creative spins on how to use dry goods or non-perishables, along with game or fish from the freezer. I also plan to provide insights on how to best preserve what you have in your freezers. If you ever have any questions, please feel welcome to email me: Hennessy.Ryan@yahoo.com or find me on Instagram (@WildGameJack) and Facebook (@BraisingTheWild).

Holly Heyser has a great video on YouTube on “How to Render Duck Fat.” Basically, you put bits of duck skin into a skillet, cover with water, and simmer for 1 hour or more, until liquid is clear and fat fully rendered, then you strain through a paper-towel-covered sieve. For this recipe, I also like to pour rendered fat from the skillet, while it cooks, into the glaze pot.

Ingredients (two servings):

2 duck breasts


1 gallon cold water

1/2 non-iodized salt

1/2 cup whole black pepper corns

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 bulb fresh garlic, smashed

6 ounces fresh ginger, smashed


3/4 cup chicken stock

3/4 cup Firebee Vanilla Honey

1/2 cup duck fat

Juice from one lemon (Half cup, most likely)

Zest from one lemon

1/2 tablespoon ground coriander


3/4 cup lentils

One 10.75-ounce can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup

3/4 cup chicken stock

  1. Mix brine ingredients thoroughly until salt and sugar dissolve. Add duck breasts to brine and let soak for 8-10 hours.
  2. Upon removal, thoroughly rinse off brine and pat dry, let sit in fridge for 2 hours prior to cooking to completely dry.
  3. In a pot, add all glaze ingredients (heat honey to make it pour easier) and set to simmer for 1 hour. Turn off after 1 hour.
  4. In a separate pot, combine all lentil ingredients and set to low simmer. Stir often and be careful not to burn lentils on bottom. Lentils are done when soft but with slight texture (may take half hour or more).
  5. For duck breasts, start with a cold skillet and place breasts skin down. Set to medium, gradually heating to render out fat.
  6. Flip once skin is crisp and golden. Sear other side. For larger duck breasts (like a mallard), you may wish to finish off in a 400-degree oven.
  7. Remove breasts once they reach 120 degrees (check internal temp with meat thermometer) and lightly tent with aluminum foil, allowing to rest for 5 minutes prior to carving.
  8. Once carved, cover with glaze and plate alongside lentils, and maybe some delicious canned asparagus.

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